Disorders of Lipid Metabolism

DLM: Benefits and Risks/Harms of Implementation (2011)

Benefits and Risks or Harms of Implementing the Recommendations

Safety issues should be considered for each form of treatment recommended. A description of the general benefits and risks associated with implementation of this guideline must be addressed.


Potential Benefits

A priority aim and benefit of implementing the recommendations in this guideline would be to improve the percentage of individuals, with or without known coronary heart disease (CHD), with lipid disorders, who meet their treatment goal.

Risk or Harm Considerations

In terms of potential harm, the long-term use and safety of specific dietary components or supplements is an important consideration in recommendations to lower serum cholesterol levels or to modify CHD risk.

Other factors to consider when exploring Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) options include:

  • Patients may present secondary causes and conditions associated with hyperlipidemia
  • Total cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL-C levels may be affected by an individual’s medical history, including use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, metabolic or endocrine conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or obesity, kidney disease, and liver disease
  • In addition, certain lifestyle and dietary practices such as current cigarette smoking habit and alcohol abuse, a high- or low-fat diet, high cholesterol intake, low-fiber diet, weight gain, and physical inactivity can affect lipid profiles as well
  • Some food sources of recommended nutrients may carry their own risks (for example, the presence of methyl mercury in some omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish).